Train Spotting

Home of the IOS Train Spotting app

Welcome to Train Spotting!

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This is the home for the iPhone, iPad & iPod app for rail enthusiasts.


TrainSpotting effortlessly stores both Sightings & Haulage

For Sightings you only need to save the Number but you can also add:

For Haulage you only need Origin & but you can also add:

You can view your data in many ways - see below!

Screenshots & explanations of the Main Pages of the app &
Frequently Asked Questions are shown below


The first time you run the app it will start on this page and walk you through the simple set up process.

The Options screen

  • The top button Tutorial Complete - Restart allows you to run the app initialisation again.
  • Import from Android will open your iCloud Drive directory to allow you to select a csv file exported from the Android TrainSpotter app. Warning: This will overwrite all existing data on the app!*
  • Export All will export all your data as a csv file but excluding any photos taken from within the app (prohibited by Apple). You should email this file to yourself and save it to your iCloud Drive. You can then edit this data with a spreadsheet such as Numbers, save it as a csv file and import it again. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for instructions.
  • Import Spots & Hauls will import a CSV file you have previously exported.
  • Sync Trains & Class Images will upload any changes to our train database. You will receive a push message when this data changes significantly. Minor changes take place almost daily.*
  • Manage Locations allows you to add to or archive your favourite locations.
  • for Support & Forum opens this web site in your browser.*
* Internet connection required

Home Page

This simple starting point lets you jump straight to recording a Sighting or record Haulage.

You can also access a simple list of either.

You can also access all the other main pages via the tab menu at the bottom of the screen.


Having hit "Create a Spot" you will be prompted to enter a train number - the app then checks our database to make sure it is a registered train (if it is not recognised you will be given the option to send us the details).

You can now simply save the number and add any other details later. Or you can click Full Details and go to the details screen....

Spot Details

Here you add optional details

  • You can type in a location and then save it to favourites if you wish.
  • Or you can select a location from your favourites
  • You can add a photo, either via your camera or from your library
  • You can change the date
  • You can add notes
  • You can change these details as often as you like!

Spot Details

To create a Haulage record you only have to enter an Origin. You can also add:

  • Train number.
  • Destination
  • Departure Date & Time
  • Arrival Date & Time
  • A photo (via camera or library)
  • Notes

You can return to this page and edit any details at anytime via the View Haulage page - see below.

Spot Details

Here all your haulage trips are listed chronologically.

Clicking on a trip takes you to the Haulage Create/Edit page shown above. Ideal for transferring your data to


The Trips Menu screen

Here you can choose to search all your sightings on a specific date or at a specific location.

Clicking on a date or location will display a list of all relevant sightings allowing you to select an individual one for review or edit.


The Trips by Date screen

Here you can quickly find all your sightings on a specific date.

Clicking on a location will display a list of all relevant sightings allowing you to select an individual one for review or edit.

Home Page

This screen shows the total numbers of trains by type and the number of sightings.

Clicking on a train type takes you to the Class screen.....

Home Page

The Class screen

This lists all the classes within that train type along with the total number registered and the total number you have spotted.

Clicking on a Class takes you to the Class Listing screen.....

Home Page

The Class Listing screen

This screen shows all the individual trains in the selected class and clearly shows which ones you have Spotted or been Hauled by.

Clicking on a specific train takes you to the train listing screen.....

Home Page

The Train Listing screen

This screen shows all Sightings & Haulage for this train.

Clicking on an Edit button will take you to the Sighting or Haul page for this train

You can edit your personal default class image on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, this app was indeed inspired by Peter's. I had been searching for some time for a Train Spotters/Rail Enthusiasts app for iPhone without success. All I could find was his for Android. I initially asked Peter if he would help build this one for me but he had too many other commitments. So I decided to build one myself. However, Peter kindly agreed that I could copy his basic design. We now share our database and our intelligence sources! Peter's Web site: http: //

We will send a Notification whenever we add new trains or new default Class images to our database and invite you to sync your app. You can always change your Notifications preferences in your device Settings.

We strongly recommend using iCloud Backup (Settings->iCloud->Backup). If it is selected on it automatically backs up your iOS device information (including all sightings data and photos from TrainSpotting) daily over Wi-Fi when your device is turned on, locked, and connected to a power source. Alternatively you can back up to iTunes via a computer but you are responsible for regularly doing this. The Export function on the Options page will only export your data in a simple format for use elsewhere - it will not include any photos you have taken from within the app.

If you enter a train number and the app says "Number Not Found" provided you have an email account on your phone, it will invite you to email details of the train to us. Alternatively you can do it via the Contact Page.

A. If you are reasonably comfortable with spreadsheets - yes! You can use the following process:

  1. Add at least one sighting to the app via Create a Spot on the home screen, Select Full details when prompted and add a location and a note then Save.
  2. Add at least one Haulage including Number, Origin, Destination and departure and arrival date and time.
  3. When you have internet connection, Go to Options->Export All. This should open your email software with an email containing a CSV file. This is your data. Email it to yourself. When you receive the email, click on the CSV attachment and from the share icon (bottom left), click on "Add To iCloud Drive".
  4. The most important thing to do next is to make a copy of the CSV file so you can reload the original if you encounter problems. We recommend using the apple Numbers app (free) for this process. The following assumes you are using Numbers on an iPhone but the same principle would apply whatever software you use.
  5. Open Numbers, it will show you your iCloud Drive directory. Locate the CSV file you just imported - DON'T open it yet. Click on Edit (top right), the files will all wobble. Click on the CSV file you want then click on the symbol of files with a + (top left) and a copy will be made. Now click on the copy to open it. You can then enter all your spots using the format of the Spots or Hauls already there. You only need to enter the number for Spots, you only need location and date for Hauls. Please note that Numbers will try to be "helpful" and convert the train numbers (which are actually text) into numbers when you open the file so it will remove leading zeros from some of the diesel classes 01 to 09 for example. If you have any of these make sure you enter (or re-enter) them as text - to do this in numbers highlight the cell, click the paintbrush top right and select Format->Text. Alternatively you can highlight all of the numbers column and make them all text format, then when you add new rows they will come ready formatted.
  6. When you are ready Save the file and then select Options (the 3 dots top right) Send a Copy and select CSV from the formats offered. Select Add To iCloud Drive.
  7. Return to TrainSpotting select Options->Import Spots and Hauls and select the file you have just saved. The app will check your data during this process and inform you of any errors! If you have any really old sightings of trains (that have been scrapped for example) that are not on our database they will not be recognised and will not be imported. As ever, if you think they should be in our database please email us the details!

This warning can also be triggered if the Sync Trains & Class Images is still running. The message will be changed at the next update to:

"We cannot import that file right now. The app may stil be syncing our main database or the file you are trying to import may be invalid. Please wait a few minutes and try import Spots & Hauls again. If you still have problems please contact our support team for more information."